Entertaining USC Recruiting Tales

A couple recruiting stories from the past:

If you think when coaches visit high schools, they just cordially greet other, it doesn’t always happen. Maybe 99 percent of the time, but not always.

I remember hearing from a coach at Valencia High School that Ed Orgeron visited shortly after Paul Hackett had been fired in 2000, still recruiting for USC.

A UCLA assistant just happened to be there at the same time. “What are you doing here? You don’t even have a coach.”

The Valencia coach said, “some of us thought Orgeron was going to drop the guy. We got between them just in case.”

Orgeron was retained by Pete Carroll, of course, and USC started rolling in recruiting and on the field.

I could name the UCLA assistant, but he is still coaching. Maybe in the future.

  • And now I want some detail to a recruiting story involving Richard Wood, who went to Thomas Jefferson High School in Elizabeth, N.J.

In 1970, a USC assistant coach was picked up at the airport by legendary coach Frank Cicarell, who was wearing a fedora and driving a huge Lincoln-Continental. When they got to the high school, Cicarell parked in front of the school in a red zone.

“Don’t worry,” Cicarell said, “The police station is across the street. They know me.”

When they got out of the Lincoln, Cicarell had about 10 players lined up, including Wood and Gil Chapman, who Parade magazine called the “No. 1 player in America” and went to Michigan.

The school also had future Notre Dame basketball player John Shumate.

Wood told the assistant coach he wanted to go to USC. Maybe the easiest recruiting job USC ever had for a three-time All-American.

16 thoughts on “Entertaining USC Recruiting Tales

  1. I just wonder how many kids back in the 60’s and 70’s said they were going to SC and the coaches did not have to recruit that hard. You had Mucllough, Davis, Yary, Kingman, Seaver, White, Williams, McDonald, Munzo, Buddy, Matthews, Banks, Weaver, and a whole bunch of others. I just wonder if the coach would call and say you are going to SC and the kids would sign. It was like a pied piper playing the flute leading all that talent to SC. Wow.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The Orgeron story here is more in line with the attitude of the USC football program from previous decades. The arrogance and toughness is what I and others – even those who hate USC – associate with the program.

    Helton may be a bible thumper – and there ain’t nothing wrong with that – but that’s not what what a USC head coach should be all about and representing to the public.



    Liked by 4 people

    1. basic pre-algebra, IMHO
      A: Helton is not a competitor (at least not of the highest level).
      B: USC if for competitors.
      C: USC coaches are competitors

      A does not equal B.
      B equals C
      Therefore, A does not equal C.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. How about this kind of math:


        Bohn + Folt = a “couple” of zeros

        Helton + Tee + Clancy + Baxter = 5 – 7 (2018 record)

        (Thibodeaux + Flowe)/Helton = 0 (number of #1 CA recruits signing with USC)

        I hope one day there is a full “accounting” of the damage Helton has done.


        Liked by 2 people

    2. Los Angeles? Helton is from the mythical city of Hucksteropolis…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Bourbon — FlimFlam and Grifterwood are actually rides at the Hucksteropolis State Fair….

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Well that stands to reason, because Pat Haden is living a undercover gay lifestyle out in the Palm Springs area…. Fact!


  3. Valencia High School? Sounds like Orgeron was going after RB Shane Vareen or a DB from that era. No one that I can remember from Valencia High has signed with USC- at least not around that time.


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